Advent is a four week long observance celebrated by many Christian faiths throughout the world. It begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th and covers four Sundays.
The word Advent, in Latin, is defined as "the coming". During Advent people remember the anticipation the Hebrews felt as they waited for the birth of their Messiah, Jesus Christ. They also use this time to think of and prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ, a time when the Saviour will again save mankind from the evils of the world. It is a time of joy and happiness as believers of Christ await the second coming of their King.
The Advent Wreath
In Many churches the beginning of Advent is marked by the hanging of evergreen boughs and displays of evergreen wreaths. The evergreen branches symbolize the new and everlasting life brought by Jesus Christ.
|Image: Mom's Party Cafe|
- The circle of the wreath - God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning and no end.
- The green of the wreath - the hope of renewal and of eternal life.
- Candles - the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son.
- The four candles - represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
- The colors of the candles - vary with traditions. Typically, three purple or blue. Purple - the color of penitence or fasting as well as the color of royalty. Blue - also a symbol of royalty as well as the color of the night sky. Rose, to symbolize the third Sunday of lessening emphasis on penitence as attention is turned more toward celebration of the season. The White candle is in the center and it represents Jesus Christ and is called the Christ Candle.
- The Light of the candles - a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world that comes into the darkness of our lives, to bring newness, life, and hope.
A new candle is lit each Sunday during the four weeks and each is associated with further symbolic meaning which you can read more about here.